By Tim Radford. The rate of ice loss from the West Antarctic appears to have accelerated sharply in the last four years, European scientists say.
LONDON, 20 December - Ice is being lost over the West Antarctic ice sheet at a faster rate. The European Space Agency’s Cryosat - a satellite with a radar altimeter that can peer through the clouds and see in the dark - has confirmed that 150 cubic kilometres of ice are drifting into the Southern Ocean each year: a much faster rate than the calculation for 2010.
After observations between 2005 and 2010, gathered by 10 different satellite missions, Antarctic scientists and oceanographers calculated that the melting of ice from the West Antarctic peninsula was causing global sea levels to rise by 0.28mm a year. The latest survey suggests this rate is 15% higher.